Welcome and ¡bienvenidos! to the start of another school year at Project MALES! Our Project MALES família is already hard at work preparing for another great year supporting our young men of color in Texas. To that end, on Tuesday, August 28 our PM team held our Project MALES Staff Retreat and ¡Bienvenida! to welcome everyone back after a summer’s work of planning and hosting our two summer events, the Texas Male Student Leadership Summit and our Summer Leadership Academy.
As we do every year, we convene our staff in our retreat to promote team building and professional development and to reflect collectively on our goals and objectives for 2018-19. This followed our Monday Project MALES Mentor Staff Retreat to plan for the mentoring program kick-off in mid-September where we will be mentoring over 125 young men at thirteen schools in Central Texas. Our mentor program is led by Rodrigo Aguayo who has recently assumed the Program Coordinator position. This will be Rodrigo’s first academic year at the helm, although he is no stranger to Project MALES working as a graduate student coordinator at a number of our school sites these past two years. Please join us in welcoming Rodrigo in his new role!
Over the years, Project MALES has been fortunate to have new graduate students join our PM família and this year is no different. We are excited to welcome two new incoming Master’s students, Allanah Manzanares and Victor Hugo Martin to our Project MALES team.
Allanah Manzanares is a graduate assistant for Project MALES and a first-year Master’s student in the Education Policy and Planning Program (EPP) at UT Austin. She received a B.A. in English and Sociology with a minor in Film from Case Western Reserve University. Her research interests include outcomes and college-readiness of low-income students, and equity in public education.
Victor Martin is a mentoring site coordinator for Project MALES and a first-year Master’s student in the Educational Policy and Planning Program (EPP) at the University of Texas at Austin. He received a B.A. in Political Science, a B.A in Chicana/o Studies, and a B.A in Spanish, Community, and Culture from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His research interests include increasing college admissions for Latino students, the factors behind college decision-making, and the academic tracking system.
We would also like to welcome DeAna McCusky Swan back to the PM familia who joins us this year as a GRA Research Associate. Bienvenidos DeAna! We are excited to welcome our new members to our team and look forward to our Undergraduate Mentor Retreat next week where we have a full day of professional development planned for over sixty-five UT undergraduate mentors, who with our five GA’s, and our Program Coordinator, will lead our mentoring efforts for our seventh year in a row serving middle and high school young men of color in the greater Austin area.